In an attempt to be the person I want to be, I can get really caught up in the 'busy' syndrome, and I realise that that has some big downfalls. This was brought home to me the other day when I was in my local library.
I'm a big fan of public libraries. It starts with fond memories from when I was a kid. The family loading into the van on Saturday mornings, going to the library and being allowed to browse and bring home five books each (there were six kids and two parents, that's a lot of books and I'm guessing we all had to carry our own!).
|Photo from Pixabay|
The Wellington public library was an amazing place when I was working at my first job in the city. It had a great cafe where I'd meet my sisters for a coffee and then find a couple of books to take home. It was always a warm refuge from the sometimes vicious Wellington weather and I spent many happy hours among the shelves there.
Back to the present day, and busy Me makes use of the on-line library catalogue. I'll search for the books I want for the kids or myself, request them and then run in and grab them when I'm in town checking off my errand list. I use the audio book service to download and listen to audio books when I'm multitasking and I use the after hours return slot when I'm on my way to work.
But I don't 'enjoy' the library anymore. I don't go in with time to spare and browse and sit and soak in the knowledge and run my finger along book spines and flick through a book at random. And I realised how much I missed that when I did it the other day by accident. I went in to find a couple of books for my son and then I looked at my watch, realised I had a spare 30 minutes and so headed upstairs to the non-fiction section with no set plan or checklist or even an idea of what I was looking for.
And here is what I came home with:
The Unburnt Egg by Brian Gill - stories from a museum curator,
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - fiction I had been recommended for my 12 year old son,
Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson - more recommended fiction for my boy,
Living Wild by Bear Grylls - I thought this might appeal to my son, who is into hunting and sticks and fires and outdoors in a big way,
Dracopedia by William O'Connor - this one is for me! A guide to drawing dragons. I'm thinking of making another dragon quilt,
Making Pop-Ups and Novelty Cards by Trish Phillips and Ann Montanaro - one for my 9 year old daughter who loves crafty things,
Weta Workshop by Luke Hawker - Weta is New Zealand's amazing design and special effects studio and workshop that (among other achievements) did the costuming and digital characters for The Lord of the Rings movie. My daughter thinks she might like to work there so this book seemed appropriate!
And lastly, Possum on a Cold Tin Roof by Charlie Janes - hunting and bushcraft adventures and mishaps written by a good keen kiwi bloke with a sense of humour. This is for my husband who doesn't read much, but I think I picked right.....
The other thing I came home with was satisfaction. I had found books to appeal to everyone. I had let the library work it's magic and turn up gems that I wouldn't have found electronically. And I had enjoyed myself. That's what the 'busy' syndrome can do if I let it take over. It can suck the pleasure out of life because I'm so busy trying to cram in everything I 'should' be doing that I forget to have fun while I'm doing it.
|I took this sneaky picture of him reading this afternoon. Don't tell him!|
So here's to libraries, and here's to slowing down and smelling the pages!